Irish Peace Imperilled by Extremists

Irish Peace Imperilled by Extremists

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Belfast, Dublin




12/12/1921 (of event)


01min 38sec




35mm, film, intertitles

black and white


National Film and Television Archive


British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

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Note the Irish tricolour near the end of this newsreel. This flag was only adopted as the national flag of Ireland with the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. The green, white and orange was first seen in the 1830s and was meant to represent reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics. De Valera is seen leaving the Mansion House after denouncing the Treaty; Griffith and Collins, signatories of the Treaty, welcomed home; Mr Shakespeare, Lloyd George's envoy, on his way to Belfast with the Treaty; Craig going to the Northern Ireland Parliament (Presbyterian Assemblies College) to denounce the Treaty; release of internees; view of Dublin (O'Connell Street).


After extensive debate in the Dáil it was decided that a five man delegation, led by Arthur Griffith and including Michael Collins would be sent to engage in negotiations in London. Collins did not relish the prospect, commenting ‘to me the task is a loathsome one. If I go, I go in the spirit of a soldier who acts against his better judgement at the orders of a superior officer. Collins said that he wasn’t sure if the treaty delegation was ‘being instructed or confused’ during its discussions with Lloyd George, adding ‘the latter I would say’. In a personal letter to Kitty Kiernan on the matter of signing the Treaty, Michael Collins reveals an optimistic hope for the settlement. Writing on the morning of 6 December (the agreement had been reached in the middle of the night) he poignantly states ‘I don’t know how things will go now but with God’s help we have brought peace to this land of ours – a peace which will end this old strife of ours forever’. Collins was not so optimistic about his own future, realising he 'just signed his own death warrant'. Eight months later, Collins was shot in an ambush in Co. Cork.

Shot List

'Irish Peace Imperriled by Extremists. Topical Budget.', 'Mr De Valera leaving the Mansion House after demonising the Treaty'. Eamon De Valera is shown getting into an open topped car, a woman sits beside him. 'But Dublin's attitude is obvious. Mr Griffith and Mr Michael Collins who signed the Treaty were wildly welcomed home.' Griffiths walking through a crowd, view of a dense crowd. 'Mr Shakespeare the Prime Minister's courier who dashed to Ulster by destroyer', 'Sir James Craig arriving at Ulster Parliament to attack the Treaty'. Craig getting out of a car and walking up steps. 'Triumphant procession of released internees'. Group of men standing in an open horse drawn carriage on a cobbled street. The men are cheering and waving an Irish flag. 'And Dear, Dirty Dublin is at Peace'. View down O'Connell Street.


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